Published: 10:44, March 6, 2020 | Updated: 06:54, June 6, 2023
PDF View
Redressing gender imbalance
By Joyce Yip

A Wikipedia Edit-a-thon workshop in progress at Asia Art Archive. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

If the novel coronavirus is giving you second thoughts about leaving home, you can still show support for female artists to mark International Women’s Day by participating in the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon organized by M+ and Asia Art Archive.

Held in partnership with the US-based non-profit mothership Art+Feminism, the event is an attempt to challenge gender bias on the popular search engine by adding citations to as well as editing and expanding the coverage of female artists. According to the latest 2011 Wikimedia Foundation survey, just nine percent of editors on Wikipedia self-identify as women. Noteworthy women figures are under-represented as well. For instance, the entry on the fictional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is 2.5 times that of Donna Strickland, a real-life optical physicist who was not considered for a Wikipedia entry until she won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018. Also, a 2015 study done by researchers in Germany and Switzerland found that pages on notable women were more likely to mention gender and relationship status than those on men. 

The upcoming Wikipedia Edit-a-thon will be its fifth edition in Hong Kong.  

“There’s an urgency and consciousness in representing women artists in Wikipedia. For M+ and Asia Art Archive, we focus on two trends: women artists in Asia and exhibition history,” said Ozge Ersoy, event co-organizer and public programs lead at Asia Art Archive. “The idea is not to think about the event as just an organization-driven exercise but a community program: it’s building a community of people interested in creating knowledge around arts and the representation of women.”

Although most of their usual  number of over 40 participants are art enthusiasts or women, not everybody is an expert. Participants can choose to create, edit and even translate pages. The event webpage comes with a list of recommended topics that interested participants can research prior to the event. Books are available on site as are representatives from Wikimedia Community User Group HK for technical support. A sharing session will wrap up the event.

If you go

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon 2020

Co-presenters: Asia Art Archive, M+, Art + Feminism

Date: Mar 7

Venue: A Space, Asia Art Archive, 11/F Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan